Priscilla Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger

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Priscilla Alden (Mullins)

Also Known As: "Molines", "Mullins"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dorking, Surrey, England
Death: Died in Duxbury, Plymouth, Dominion of New England (Present Massachusetts)
Place of Burial: South Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger and Alice Mullins (unknown), "Mayflower" Passenger
Wife of John Alden, "Mayflower" Passenger
Mother of Elisabeth Pabodie; John Alden, Jr.; Joseph Alden, Sr.; Sarah Standish; Capt. Jonathan Alden and 6 others
Sister of William Mullins, of Dorking and Braintree; Sarah Mullins and Joseph Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger

Occupation: Spinner and weaver; schoolteacher, American Colonial Figure, Mayflower Passenger, colonial homemaker
Managed by: John Patrick McCaffrey
Last Updated:

About Priscilla Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger

Priscilla Mullins (c.1603 – c.1688), Mayflower passenger and noted member of Plymouth's "Pilgrim" colony in Massachusetts, and wife of fellow colonist John Alden (c.1599-1687), was most likely born in Dorking in Surrey, England. The second daughter and fourth child of William (c.1578 - 1621) and Alice Atwood (c.1574 - c.1620), Priscilla was a 17-year-old girl when she and her family boarded the Mayflower, arriving at Plymouth in December 1620. Her parents and her brother, Joseph, died during the first winter in Plymouth, leaving her the only remaining member of her family in the New World (although another brother and a sister remained in England).

Sweet of temper and blessed with great patience, she rose above her grief and spun wool and flax for the colony, taught the children and helped with the cooking. Priscilla Mullins and John Alden were married at Plymouth circa 1622, likely the third couple to be married in Plymouth Colony. Priscilla is last recorded in the records in 1650, but oral tradition states that she died within a few years of her husband (who died in 1687). Although she was buried at the Miles Standish Burial Ground in Duxbury, Massachusetts and there is a marker at the Burial Ground in her honor, no one knows the exact location of her grave.

The Alden Children

Priscilla and John Alden had ten children, with a possible eleventh dying in infancy. Although not documented, it's presumed that the first three children were born in Plymouth, and the remainder in Duxbury.

  1. John Alden, Jr. (1623 - 1701) Born at Plymouth, John moved to Boston and married Elizabeth Phillips Everill, widow of Abiel Everill, 1 April 1660 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; John and Elizabeth had thirteen children. He was a mariner and became a naval commander of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was a member of the Old South Church of Boston and his headstone is embedded in the wall there. On a trip to Salem John Alden was accused of witchcraft and spent fifteen weeks in a Boston jail. He escaped shortly before nine other accused were executed during the Salem witch trials. Later exonerated, Captain John Alden died at Boston, Massachusetts, on 14 March, 1701.
  2. Elisabeth Alden (c.1624 - 1717) married William Pabodie (also recorded as 'Peabody'), a civic and military leader of Duxbury, where all thirteen of their children were born. They later moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island, where Elizabeth died on 31 May, 1717, at the age of ninety-four.
  3. Joseph Alden (c.1627 - c.1697) Moved to Bridgewater where he farmed land purchased from the Indians by his father and Myles Standish. He married Mary Simmons and they had seven children. Died 8 February 1696/97 at Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
  4. Jonathan Alden (c.1632 - 1697) married Abigail Hallett on 10 December 1672 at Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Jonathan and Abigail lived in Duxbury and raised six children in the original Alden home, which he received from his father, and which passed to his son upon his death on 14 February, 1697.
  5. Sarah Alden (c.1628 - 1674), whose marriage to Alexander Standish, son of Miles Standish, belies any idea of a feud between the Aldens and the Standish family. Sarah and Alexander had at least seven children and lived in Duxbury until Sarah’s death on 12 August 1674.
  6. Ruth Alden (1634 - 1674) married John Bass 12 May 1657; had seven children; died 12 October 1674 at Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts.
  7. Priscilla Alden (1639 - 1689) No record of marriage nor children
  8. David Alden (c. 1645 - 1719) married Mary Southworth, daughter of Constant Southworth of Plymouth Colony, and had six children. Described as "a prominent member of the church, a man of great respectability and much employed in public business."
  9. Rebecca Alden (c.1649 - 1688), married Thomas Delano of Duxbury before30 October1667. They had nine children.
  10. Robert Alden (1649 - 1685)
  11. Mary Alden (c.1659 - c.1688) No record of marriage nor children

PLEASE NOTE: Zachariah Alden and Henry Alden have been incorrectly identified as sons of John and Priscilla Alden in various publications. For information on the genealogy of Henry Alden, see Mayflower Descendant 43:21-29,133-138; 44:27-30,181-184.

Notes

  • Priscilla Mullins Alden is known as the unrequited love of the newly-widowed Captain Miles Standish in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. According to the poem, Standish asked his good friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla on his behalf, only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” A direct descendant of John and Priscilla's, Longfellow based his poem on a romanticized version of a family story, though there is no independent historical evidence for the account. Prior to Longfellow's version, the story was originally published by John and Priscilla’s great-great-grandson, Rev. Timothy Alden, in 1814.

Links

Her parents and younger brother Joseph all died between February and April of 1621. From the landing of "Mayflower at the second site on December 16, 1620 as many as 47 passengers perished (Only about 50 survived by the time "Mayflower" returned to England in April of 1621) from the harsh crossing and eight weeks at sea, and the harsh winter conditions experienced without sufficient shelter. She has been the subject of a star-crossed love story "The Courtship of Myles Standish" in which the bashful Captain (Whose wife Rose died three days after arriving at Plymouth) asked the twenty-one year old cooper John Alden to propose for him. John wound up being Priscilla's husband.


Arrived on first Mayflower voage with Father (William Mullins), Mother (Alice Atwood) and Brother who all died first winter 1621. Married John Alden another Mayflower passenger in 1622-1623 and had 10 or 11 childern.
At age 17, came to the US with her parents on the Mayflower (recruited passengers) in November 1620. Married John Alden, crew member on the Mayflower, 3 years after arriving in the US.
American Colonial Figure. One of the charter members of the Plymouth Colony, arriving on the first voyage of the "Mayflower", her marriage to John Alden is the third known marriage in the Plymouth colony. Born in Dorking, Surrey, England, she was a young girl of 16 or 17 at the time of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 for America, when she arrived with her parents. When her parents died in the first winter ashore, in early 1621, a hard time when about half of the colony perished, she chose to stay with the Pilgrims even though she had a brother and sister surviving in England. Between the time of her parents' deaths in 1621 and her marriage to John Alden about 1623, it is not known whom she stayed with or how she survived. John married Priscilla Mullins about 1623, but the exact date has been lost to history. A legend of a rivalry between John Alden and pilgrim Miles Standish for Priscilla Mullins arose, and was first published in the book, "Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions" in 1814, by Timothy Alden. The story was popularized by the poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858, however, there is no documentation of such a rivalry to have existed in any of the records of the Plymouth Colony. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)
https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mullins-7

'Priscilla (Mullins) Alden (abt. 1602 - 1688)

Priscilla Alden formerly Mullins

Born about Jun 1602 in Dorking, Surrey, England

Daughter of William Mullins and Alice (Unknown) Mullins [uncertain]

Sister of William Mullins Jr., Sarah (Mullins) Blunden and Joseph Mullins

Wife of John Alden — married about 12 May 1622 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts)

Mother of Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie, John Alden Jr, Joseph Alden Sr.,

Sarah (Alden) Standish, Jonathan Alden Sr., Priscilla Alden,

Ruth (Alden) Bass, Rebecca (Alden) Delano, David Alden and Mary Alden

Died 5 Feb 1688 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony

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Categories: Mayflower Passengers | US President Direct Ancestor | Dorking, Surrey | New Plimoth | Duxbury, Massachusetts | Miles Standish Burial Ground, Duxbury, Massachusetts | Mayflower Family Member.

This person was a passenger on the Mayflower. Join: Mayflower Project Discuss: MAYFLOWER Contents

[hide] 1 Biography 1 2 Biography 2 3 Biography 3 4 Biography 4 5 Longfellow's Poem 6 Sources 7 Notes Biography 1

Summary Priscilla Mullins was born about 1602 at Dorking, Surrey, England. Residence: Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA, 1621. She married John Alden about 1623. The Aldens had eleven children. They later resided at Duxbury, Massachusetts, probably moving there before 1640.

Priscilla Mullens Alden died at Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts about 1685. John Alden and Priscilla Alden's grave is in Miles Standish Burial Ground in Duxbury, Plymouth, MA. Exact burial locations within cemetery have been lost to time.

Biography 2

Author undetermined. Priscilla was believed born in Dorking in Surrey. Only 17 when she boarded The Mayflower. During the first winter at Plymouth, Priscilla lost her parents and brother. While she had another brother and sister who remained in England, she was suddenly the only living member of her family in the New World. She worked as a teacher and cook in the colony. She also spun flax and wool.

Priscilla is last recorded in 1650, but oral records say she died only a few years before her husband. This would put her death at around 1680. She is buried with her husband at the Miles Standish Burial Ground, but the exact location of her grave is unknown. Came to US on Mayflower 1620. Came with her parents William and Alice - they both died in 1620. Source: Supplement to Sprague Families in America by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague.

Biography 3

Biography from profile by Michael Stephenson: "Priscilla Mullins was born probably in Dorking, Surrey, England, to William and Alice Mullins. She, her parents, and her brother Joseph all came on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620. Her entire family, herself excepted, died the first winter. She was shortly thereafter, in 1622 or 1623, married to John Alden, the Mayflower's cooper, who had decided to remain at Plymouth rather than return to England with the ship. John and Priscilla lived in Plymouth until the late 1630s, when they helped found the neighboring town of Duxbury. John and Priscilla would go on to have ten or eleven children, and have an enormous number of descendants, including poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and Vice President Dan Quayle."

Biography 4

From a profile submitted by Ellen Hathaway(?) Married John Alden. Had daughter Sarah Alden, who then married Alexander Standish (son of Myles), and they had daughter Lydia Standish who married Isaac Sampson.

Longfellow's Poem

Priscilla is known to literary history as the unrequited love of the newly widowed Captain Miles Standish, the colony's military advisor, in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish. According to the poem, Standish asked his good friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla on his behalf, only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

Longfellow (a direct descendant of John and Priscilla) based his poem on a romanticized version of a family tradition, although until recently, there was little independent historical evidence for the account. The basic story was apparently handed down in the Alden family and published by John and Priscilla’s great-great-grandson, Rev. Timothy Alden, in 1814. Scholars have recently confirmed the cherished place of romantic love in Pilgrim culture, and have documented the Indian war described by Longfellow. Circumstantial evidence of the love triangle also exists. Miles Standish and John Alden were likely roommates; Priscilla Mullins was the only single woman of marriageable age. The families of the alleged lovers remained close for several generations, moving together to Duxbury, Massachusetts, in the late 1620s.

Sources

Title: Bradford's History "of Plimoth plantation". Various print and online editions available, including an edition for Kindle. Also can be down loaded from Archive.org. Source: Woodworth-Barnes, Esther Littleford and Williams, Alicia Crane, Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol 16 Part 1 of 3, John Alden, Boston, Mass.: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2002. Source: Wikipedia Source.Supplement to Sprague Families in Americe by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague. Source: Families of the Pilgrims by Hubert Kinney Shaw, Boston, Mass. Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1955 Source: Information was taken from the Alden Kindred website [1] Source: [Caleb Johnson's Mayflower history Web Site] Source: Title: Alden Family Database for Eight Generations, 2003 Edition; Alden Society Publication online at: [2] Source: K. Alan & Roberta J. Streeter - Genealogy Research Assistants. New England Connections established 12 July 1996-Our Mayflower Passangers 12 July 1996 This site created and maintained by Robert H. Streeter, James A. Streeter Copyright © 1996,1997 by Robert H. Streeter. Source: Title: Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Ma (1640-1850), Author: Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, Media - Book Source: Title: Genealogies of the Families Of Braintree, Norfolk, Mass., 1640-1850 Author: Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, AB Publication: Including the modern town of Randolph & Holbrook and the city of Quincy, after the separation from Braintree in 1792-3. Source: Title: Personal E-Mail (Richard D. Souther) Publication: 21 generations from Alvin Pratt & Eliza Ann Souther, Source: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000 Publication: Ancestry.com Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007.Original data - Various photo collections from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C. Note: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007, online at Ancestry.com. Source: Title: American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) Author: Godfrey Memorial Library, comp. Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.Original data - Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA. The following resources are found online at a premium (paid access)web site:

Source: Title: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Author: Yates Publishing Publication: Name: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived. Source: Title: Family Data Collection - Individual Records Author: Edmund West, comp. Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.;; Note: Edmund West, comp., Family Data Collection - Individual Records (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.). Source: Title: Family Data Collection - Births Author: Edmund West, comp. Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.;; Note: Edmund West, comp., Family Data Collection - Births (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.). Source: Title: Family Data Collection - Deaths Author: Edmund West, comp. Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.;; Note: Edmund West, comp., Family Data Collection - Births (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.). Source: Title: Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com;; Note: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members. This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created. Source: Title: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index,1500s-1900s Author: Gale Research, Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.Original data - Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA. Source: Author: Heritage Consulting Title: Millennium File Publication: Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; ] Source: Author: Ancestry.com Title: U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700 Publication: Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Repository: Ancestry.com Source: S2282 Author: Ancestry.com Title: Public Member Trees Publication: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2006; Repository: #R2227 Repository: R2227 Name: HR-1005-BGR Address: www.ancestry.com E-Mail Address: Phone Number: Source: S2376 Author: Various Title: Web Site, www.findagrave.com Repository: #R2446 Repository: R2446 Name: HR-3610-HAR Address: www.findagrave.com E-Mail Address: Phone Number: Source: S548 Author: Jim Sloan, jimsloan@@knology.net Title: Family Tree, Sloan & Related Lines Repository: #R547 NOTESource Medium: Internet CONT Repository: R547 Name: CO-1056-FTR Address: www.ancestry.com Source: S87 Author: William V. Hopkins, Jr., hopkins1314@@bellsouth.net Title: Family Tree, Shaw - Newcomer - Shutt - Hopkins Repository: #R87 Repository: R87 Name: www.rootsweb.com, HR-1660-JQA Address: E-Mail Address: Phone Number: Notes

Note N105We actually know very little about John Alden and his wife, Priscilla Mullins, and their lives together. Assumptions can be made about their ages upon arrival in Plymouth- Because we know his death date, September 22, 1687, and his approximate age then, he is presumed to have been born in 1599 or 1600, making him about 21 years of age. There is no record of Priscilla's birth, but it is generally assumed that she was younger, probably in her mid to late teens. Her father, mother, and brother all died during that wretched first winter in Plymouth. According to her father's will, she had a sister and a brother in England. The brother, William, eventually came to the colonies. There is also no record of her death, though tradition holds that she lived until about 1680 and John's will indicates that she died by 1687. It appears that John Alden and Priscilla Mullins were married in 1621 or 1622, perhaps the third marriage in Plymouth Colony. Both received their part of divisions made the original settlers in 1623 and 1627. They had ten documented children and perhaps another who died young. These few facts and assumptions are all we know of Priscilla. Yet, of all the Pilgrim women, the name of Priscilla Mullins Alden is arguably the best known, and many who could not name another Pilgrim can readily recall John Alden. This is because of the poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, written by their descendant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which was part of the education of American school children for decades. The merits of the poem nor the truth of the story will not be discussed here, but the memorable phrases, "Speak for yourself, John," and "If I am not worth the wooing, then surely I am not worth the winning," have placed the Aldens solidly into American lore and increase the public interest in the house. John and Priscilla's first home was in Plymouth. The exact date when they moved into a home of their own is not known, but certainly by 1627 they were living across from the Governor's house and near the fort. This is the house which is replicated in today's Plymouth Plantation. A stone at the foot of Burial Hill commemorates the Plymouth house. Source: The Alden Web Site, http://alden.org 1999) From Family Tree, Shaw - Newcomer - Shutt - Hopkins: Arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 with her parents William and Alice Mullins and her brother Joseph Mullins. She married John Alden, another Mayflower passenger. Priscilla Mullins was born probably in Dorking, Surrey, England, to William and Alice Mullins. She, her parents, and her brother Joseph all came on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620. Her entire family, herself excepted, died the first winter. She was shortly thereafter, in 1622 or 1623, married to John Alden, the Mayflower's cooper, who had decided to remain at Plymouth rather than return to England with the ship. John and Priscilla lived in Plymouth until the late 1630s, when they helped found the neighboring town of Duxbury. John and Priscilla would go on to have ten or eleven children, and have an enormous number of descendants, including poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and Vice President Dan Quayle. From www.findagrave.com: American Colonial Figure. One of the charter members of the Plymouth Colony, arriving on the first voyage of the "Mayflower", her marriage to John Alden is the first marriage in Plymouth. Born Dorking, Surrey, England, at the time of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 for America, she arrived with her parents a young girl of about 16 or 17. Apparently having no surviving brothers or sisters, her parents died in the first winter ashore, in early 1621, when about half of the colony perished. Between the time of their deaths in 1621 and her marriage to John Alden about 1623, it is not known whom she stayed with or how she survived. John married Priscilla Mullins, about 1623, but the exact date has been lost to history. A legend of a rivalry between John Alden and pilgrim Miles Standish for Priscilla Mullins arose, and was first published in the book, "Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions" in 1814, by Timothy Alden. The story was popularized by the poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858, however, there is no documentation of such a rivalry to have existed in any of the records of the Plymouth Colony. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) Inscription: IN MEMORY OF MRS PRISCILLA ALDEN WIFE OF JOHN ALDEN WHO DIED IN DUXBURY ERECTED BY THE ALDEN KINDRED OF AMERICA 1930 IMPORTANT PRIVACY NOTICE & DISCLAIMER: YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO USE CAUTION WHEN DISTRIBUTING PRIVATE INFORMATION. WIKITREE PROTECTS MOST SENSITIVE INFORMATION BUT ONLY TO THE EXTENT STATED IN THE TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY.

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Priscilla Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

1603
1603
Dorking, Surrey, England

1602 Dorking, Surrey, England

1620
1620
Age 17
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1624
1624
Age 21
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
1626
June 1, 1626
Age 23
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
1627
May 22, 1627
Age 24
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1628
1628
Age 25
Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts